Today, 9 December, is International Anti-Corruption Day. To mark the occasion, a week of activities have been organised in Ghana to take the fight against corruption to the next level.
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), in collaboration with key anti-corruption partners and with the support of the European Union, has coordinated the National Anti-Corruption Week Celebrations and High Level Conference.
International Anti-Corruption Day was introduced in 2003 when the Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) was adopted by the UN General Assembly. 9 December was designated as the day to raise awareness of corruption and the role of the Convention to combat and prevent it.
UNCAC requires States to implement various anti-corruption measures, focussing on five main areas: prevention, law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, technical assistance and information exchange.
Coinciding with the African Union’s 2018 ‘theme of the year’, “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”, this week is a particularly meaningful moment to commemorate anti-corruption efforts in Ghana and across the continent.
Ghana’s commitment to fighting corruption is strong. Progress towards democracy and good governance has been significant in recent years. There is a solid legislative framework as well as several State institutions holding key responsibilities to implement steps to strengthen accountability, rule of law and good governance throughout the country.
The private sector, civil society and media are also highly active players in Ghana’s efforts against corruption, which is why this week is a significant moment for further collaboration. United, Ghana is stronger against corruption.
The launch event took place on Monday 3 December in Accra, which commenced the week’s programme covering several critical issues at the heart of the country’s anti-corruption efforts. The current status the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) and the launch of the online reporting platform for corruption (NACoRD) were presented. Planning for the implementation of the UNCAC Review recommendations also took place.
The Judicial Service introduced it’s new online complaints platform, to facilitate the work of its Public Relations and Complaints Units (PRCUs). Such digital innovations aim to help citizens report on acts of corruption and abuse of power, which would subsequently help to enhance accountability, rule of law and good governance throughout the country.
Referring to the NACAP’s fourth year of implementation, CHRAJ Commissioner Mr Joseph Whittal challenged participants to reflect on whether enough has been done so far. “Can we, as a government, ministries, agencies, municipal and metropolitan assemblies, faith-based organisations, the media, confirm we have done what is expected of us under the action plan for these four years?”.
The Minister of Planning, George Gyan-Baffour used the occasion to reinforce the government’s commitment to strengthen institutional capacity to address corruption and promote accountability and transparency, through the provision of more resources.
Both the high level turnout of stakeholders and their engaging participation during the events demonstrated the importance of a ‘Ghana, united against corruption’.
The week‘s activities are a collaboration among the government, CHRAJ, the Judicial Service, the Attorney General’s Department, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Star Ghana, the Institute of Economic Affairs, and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana). Supported by ARAP and the European Union.